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What California’s widespread curfew means for hotels: They’re still open

The Hotel Del Coronado
Hotels are largely unaffected by the new curfew announced by California officials Thursday. The Hotel Del Coronado, which temporarily closed and then reopened during early months of the pandemic, is among the many properties that remain open.
(K.C. Alfred / The San Diego Union-Tribune)

California’s new widespread curfew calls for people to remain at home between 10 p.m and 5 a.m., but it doesn’t shut down hotels.

“The curfew only means guests would have to be off the streets” by 10 p.m., said California Hotel & Lodging Assn. spokesman Pete Hillan.

The move follows a dramatic escalation of COVID-19 infection rates in California and beyond, including more than 5,000 new cases reported in L.A. County on Thursday. The restriction goes into place on Saturday and lasts through Dec. 21, though it could be extended.

By the language of the state Public Health Department order announced by Gov. Gavin Newsom, it requires that “all activities conducted outside the residence, lodging, or temporary accommodation with members of other households cease between 10 p.m. PST and 5 a.m. PST.”

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The policy doesn’t appear to affect state campgrounds, either. “As of right now, there are no operational changes to camping,” said Jorge Moreno, a spokesman for California State Parks.

The new restrictions apply to counties in the strictest tier of the state’s reopening roadmap — the purple tier. That group covers more than 40 of California’s 58 counties, including Los Angeles, Orange, Kern, San Diego, Ventura, Santa Barbara, Riverside, San Bernardino and Imperial.

State and national leaders have been urging Americans to stay as close to home as possible and defer nonessential travel, but most hotels remain open, albeit operating far below their usual capacity, to house essential workers, business travelers and leisure travelerss.

Hillan said the association, which represents about one-third of the roughly 6,000 hotels and other lodgings in California, has worked closely with state and federal officials to boost cleaning standards and reduce virus transmission risk. So far, Hillan said, he’s aware of no substantial California outbreaks that have been linked to either hotel guests or employees.


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